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tv   International Programming  CSPAN  August 15, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT

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of the tunnel. >> i might add without finding facts in the case, i know that you made the effort to go out the way that is supposed to play out. one of the things i was talking about is some of the issues we are talking about here, pro consumer versus from corporate, what might be the current democrat/republican spread, this is more of a populist corporate or pro citizen versus pro powerful kind of dynamic. they shifted -- you are from mississippi on this but out west is a libertarian feel. some people it has been a surprise to see montana which is not seen as a left-wing state really leading the judicial push back on fat. what are the lines being drawn here? is it one that is about
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different ideologies were purely a matter of following that? >> on the supreme court? >> also trickling into the state's election. when you see this as montana supreme court having put a fairly forceful push back to the supreme court on this why do you see that from a stage like montana as opposed to something you might see as a more traditionally liberal state? >> that is complicated and i am getting way out of my pay grade here. when i started practicing law in montana montana was a progressive state. in 1994 or 93 whenever the gingrich revolution took place
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montana started going more and more in that direction and volvo montana is typically composed of blue collar workers, farmers, ranchers, that kind of thing has fallen nationally towards the more conservative spectrum. most of the people on the supreme court are not quite as old as i am but close to it. this selection from lie -- the first or second person in a new generation. >> it is not an easy left/right
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breakdown. in mississippi, judicial elections are not run by parties. judges run non-partisan as they do in many states so you don't necessarily get the republican democrat breakdown in judicial races. it is about the money. and the breakdown we have seen in mississippi in addition to corporations is insurance companies may be the same thing and medical providers on one thing and lawyers and labor unions on the other side. it is not an equivalency at all. left side lawyer groups are outspends in many times 6:1. you have huge amounts of money
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and no equivalency. >> another factor that is underplayed, the christian right has played, mated difference in my state. in 2004 i guess it was we had an ambassador of the constitution 62% of people, and that was -- doesn't reflect -- most people believe in montana about that issue. >> one of the interesting thing is the outside groups come in, the ads don't normally support their position the.
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when they attack a judicial candidate they do so on grounds other than supporting plaintiffs for pro-business. what they do is issues that inflame the public usually using criminal decisions in the judge's past career. susan selladoff did the judiciary. a story about how these groups came in to our campaign and started running massive amounts of ads talking about what a horrible person i was. money back on a bench on the judge's bench and just as i was expecting tens of thousands of dollars from lawyers's groups and went on to allow a cocaine dealer to be sent out of prison. that is an appellate justice's job to review criminal cases at
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the very very you overturn and the judge can't do it alone. in mississippi nine judges and five votes. that was one of five. these ads were really horrible and we didn't want our kids -- we had very young kids. we didn't want them seeing this on television so we kept the television off as we were getting ready for school and one morning we forgot and getting ready for school and my daughter olivia was in the other room and you hear yelling, daddy, we have lots of money being given to us. the ads didn't necessarily have the effect they wanted on my household but they did on the public. >> it comes across strongly from double day press, doing e r. and talking about the fact --
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return on investment and corporate liability but more generalized. and largely on the culture and criminal is choose and they just want the justice to be their way. and does this also affects the balance, and consumer interests. and criminal cases and briefly a politician you always think about the thirty-second is spot. in the death panel adds. and the good public policy even
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without risks -- in the criminal case you talk about that a little bit. and the new problem is money and politics, in judicial elections. >> when you have large amounts of money coming in to the campaign both public and the candidates running. and that is what the campaign was about. one of the horrible results. these terrible lads, the mississippi supreme court that i served with, after that point overturning criminal cases. it was a horrible thing to do in
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the next election anyway. but yes. judges running for election do keep in mind, it does have that effect. i knew what was coming when i voted. it called for the abolition of mississippi. i did it anyway. >> big bunny -- in montana. people who are willing ---did
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campaign. >> we had an issue where the president of the university of virginia, there was an attempt to go on the board. what was interesting was the wasn't just a liberal versus conservative thing but a lot of conservatives, people coming in to use money to determine the outcome or direction of academia. academia or academic liberty like judicial incentives is an area where conservatives and liberals, it is not about who has the most money or influence but fairness for independence. do you see the conversation going forward connected that primarily about the corporate
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person and is it about this idea of corruption above that? >> it shouldn't be, nothing to do with the decisions and personhood is a holdover from the fourteenth amendment. it should be about corruption and corots of effects they must have. if you think academia is sacrosanct now the judicial process. i have been proven long -- wrong on that. i use the phrase in western
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tradition's case about corporatism. as long as the national philosophy is dominated by free market will free market will solve all our problems are don't think anything is sacrosanct. the best way to promote that philosophy is to control everything. the way to control everything -- >> i will avoid the attempt to make this about the vice-presidential pick based on that answer. emphasize that this issue--one of the things we talk about is the prospect of running more. people in the legal community
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round country. and in most cases taking this out -- the agenda could be something. now that it starts to look like profits does it affect and is a leading question. >> no doubt about it. in the past we could recruit wiesel lawyers. and run for election. it seemed to work for a while but i think folks looking at it now, some guy had a tremendous
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legal career, stellar reputation. why sully your reputation, your family, knowing your background goes through just like any other election. you get a limit of candidates in seeking these higher judicial positions. you do have a trial -- even the trial judges are removed from a lot of the large funding that comes into the higher -- they don't want to leave their local to run for a higher appellate office and see what is happening. and every decision will be combed through. and prosecutor brought the wrong
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case. it is coming up. you're going to limit the full of candidates who were willing to take it to that. >> open it up to the audience. you -- and the way to go with this. and make the process less political. what is the right thing? if one believes corporate and financial influence on the judicial process is corrupting, is there any way to prevent that? >> it is not before the public.
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>> no matter what the person does, they all have free speech rights. so useless. get the facts out. show how big money is being dumped into a particular judicial race. shouldn't have been overturned. it is misleading. that is the best way to go about it. i hope the public is not swayed by all the sound bites icy. at least i think that the attorneys -- get the truth out. >> there are some other solutions as well. i don't think there's any debate based on the supreme court ruling that corporations are
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entitled to speech but there are things we can do about it. is written that they have a lot of corporations want to get involved with politics they get the votes of the shareholders. let shareholders vote and approved expenditures on political campaigns. at least make the decision known to folks holding stock in corporations rather than a few on a corporate board. we have to look at all sorts of options. >> disclosure is important. in full play even after citizens united. if they can do any one thing they could be fought and to enforce disclosure laws and make people aware of who is contributing. don't let them high and behind corporate shield players of corporate organization. make them disclose that least in
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the case we had in montana. these people don't like transparency in government. they want to do their dirty work in private and you don't let them do that. >> in this day and age no reason to have a meeting disclosure either. you make donations and we could make it public that they or candidates receiving donations and disclosure -- there is no reason i can't do it. quickly. >> i will note on that debate for much of the last 20 years that has been a conservative position. as long as you disclose you are letting people decide there should be limits, there should be transparency now that the limits have been taken away apparently disclosure is no longer considered by some to be the conservative position. >> in montana in federal court. >> i would say the vast majority of people that i know regardless
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of political affiliation who are spending the money and what they want and perhaps we will open it up. have someone come around with blood microphone. state your name and affiliation if you have one. >> i with the postgraduate school. i was married to a judge for 23 years. how long are your terms and what is it like campaigning? if you don't do it through a party? i don't understand this process at all. >> hours are for eight years. what you do or what i did is go out and tossed my experience and you know my reputation for fairness and work ethic. even though i campaigned after
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-- i tried to stay away from implying i took any position -- people would ask me that that may come -- >> what you were doing, you doing that at county fairs? garden clubs? >> i was doing it every place. in montana, each major party in the spring of the area, mostly judicial candidates felt compelled to vote. i took that position for didn't take a position. >> mississippi is the same way. i served on the accord of
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appeals which is the intermediate and the supreme court and in the past it was like any other political campaign without taking firm stands on issues. your experience, lot of chicken in mississippi. and lion's club or rotary club, but we also rely on lawyers. lawyers generally -- they appear before us. they are the ones with cases and watch the decisions of the court. i relied on friends or lawyers because lawyers serve as leaders in local communities and a lot of folks look at guidance for
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judicial elections. that system is antiquated. when you have got television ads coming in in my race the u.s. chamber of commerce came in, paid for by the u.s. chamber of commerce. they don't do that anymore. they learned they were getting a bad reputation by spending money in their names so they started these other groups but when you get $1 million as they did in my campaign, influences the election and the traditional support of meeting folks in the community and relying on recommendations and things of that nature. >> as long as you did -- not easy. my wife knows -- >> thanks. the american bar association. give them the situation now at
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the elections going on and the money going into campaigns what can judges and courts do to, batch work overcome the public perception and judicial perception that money buys decisions? >> good question. i think if i had the answer i might still be a judge. it is a tremendous problem we have got to do something with. you always have someone who wants to be a judge not fighting by the same rules. the bar association, we have greater control by bar association and judicial
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elections. public financing rather than open financing from public at large but then you get back into the free-speech issue of independence campaign. there is no easy solution. >> sometimes it is easier to get people excited about a solution that is bigger than smaller. in sir ways we think about getting agreement on marginal change. if you look at polling on the political side and not just the judicial side almost nobody agreeing with the conservative argument. 80% of people generally believe the problem of too much money in politics issues they don't believe will be any better but inherently always going to be corrupt and broken. in some ways we are arguing not against the conservative position but skepticism that we can make it better and therefore older ideas sometimes get a better response. whether that is justice
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o'connor's position that none of these positions should be elected you get into the position of what is the merit based approach it cetera but this is a moment handicapped reports you will get back after these questions too where we win more people by thinking big than necessarily by saying small. disclosure is an example that is incredibly important and everybody agrees on even if we can't get it for the heads of some people down the street. we can't even win what should be the easiest everybody agrees on position. we need to fight that but that can take away from thinking more broadly about the question of how broken our politics are and also since i am in an advocacy position there's a lot of education and the difference between burying one's head in the sand and saying this is people being too easy to manipulate and too much money involved and people are outraged
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by it and they want something better than what they are seeing and you could see in some cases acts of personal leadership and courage. by having someone who stands up to this maybe they lose an election or lose their seat on the bench but over time the end community and the american community more broadly see them as heroes of the rule of law in the process and point have an effect as well. >> important to note that all elections are local and that is true and it is incumbent upon people in each state and each city and county and judicial district to do the education process. those are the people who have credibility in their own groups, communities and areas and on the ground and know the facts. get those facts out.
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>> my name is stacy bridges from northern virginia and a victim of the pharmaceutical companies. the 30 day sample killed my fiancee in 30 days. the problem i found now we have for reform put a cap and balance on your pain and suffering and you have to prove that the pharmaceutical companies were negligent in order to sue. you mentioned something about following the money. i followed the money and where it leads is a despicable place. their decisions are based on money that was given to them in a contribution and affects people, with 3 kills hundreds of thousands of people wounds or injures will there be any criminal time for those legislators for those judges or maybe disbarred or limits, term limit sex on them? any repercussions for their
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actions? >> a horrible situation when people are impacted -- i'm going to plug the movie hot coffee. the family highlighted -- there were caps on damages in nebraska and even though there's some was born brain damaged as a result of negligent delivery by dr. he had to live his entire life on a fixed amount of money much lower than what the jury determined was a reasonable amount. we are seeing people impacted personally by these decisions. there's also a story in hot coffee of a guy in texas who campaigned for tort reform and he also suffered medical
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negligence problem and tried to bring a suit and someone said texas has this law and you are not able to see your doctor because of it and we were campaigning against frivolous lawsuits. frivolous lawsuit is in the eye of the older and it is only through people like you telling your story that others are going to realize this might affect me and my family as well and that is what we have got to do. >> your story is heartbreaking because it is such a reoccurring thing that judges are hearing across the country. it is important to get stories like yours across the public. nobody wants to have their loved

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